Bradley Cooper Almost Quit Acting Before Licorice Pizza

Bradley Cooper has a few movies in theaters right now – and he really knocks it out of the park by playing larger-than-life movie producer Jon Peters in Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, Licorice Pizza.

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Even though he’s only in the film for a few minutes, Cooper’s performance is one of his most memorable aspects, proof of his undeniable acting talent. Which is why it’s surprising that he recently almost gave up acting altogether.

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In a chat with Mahershala Ali for Variety’s ‘Actors on Actors’ series, Cooper admitted he pretty much hung up on his feet before PTA offered him the role in Licorice Pizza.

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“The reason I didn’t give up acting is Paul Thomas Anderson,” he said. “When he called me about maybe being in his movie, Mahershala, I mean really, I think I would open a door in his movie. I would do anything.”

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Cooper explained that he was able to shoot Licorice Pizza during a break on the set of Guillermo del Toro’s latest film, alley of nightmares. “I was able to grow a beard, and Searchlight was praying that I didn’t get COVID, because we had to go back and move on. alley of nightmares. But I was like, ‘There’s no way I won’t.'”

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Cooper filmed his role in Licorice Pizza when filming for the film began, but he stayed on set for three weeks, taking notes from Anderson and soaking it all up.

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“I watched all the camera tests,” Cooper said of following PTA’s lead on set. “[He] taught me all about lentils, things I didn’t know. He is incredible.”

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And Cooper will soon have the opportunity to present this new knowledge: he begins work on his next directorial effort, Maestroa biopic about the late composer Leonard Bernstein, later this year.

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Watch the full interview here.